Antonio Cairoli and Thomas Kjer Olsen win the Qualifying Races in Trentino
Amidst the Italian motocross fans the MXGP of Trentino started today with MXGP and MX2 Qualifying Races, plus the Races 1 of the second round of the Women’s Motocross World Championship and first round of the European Championship 250cc. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli gave the country’s MXGP fans exactly what they wanted to see, an Italian in pole position while in MX2 class it was the new face of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen who will have first gate pick come Sunday.
WMX Race 1 provided great action for the all the fans and a even better result for the Italian fans as they saw Kiara Fontanesi edge out the competition. Kiara capitalized on the fall of points leader Courtney Duncan. Courtney however fought her way back to 2nd followed by Nancy Van De Ven.
EMX250 Race 1 had more bar banging action with Simone Furlotti coming out on the top spot. Behind Furlotti the battle for second between Morgan Lesiardo and Ken Bengtson lasted all the way to the last corner where Morgan came out ahead.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli started the MXGP Qualifying Race with the holeshot and followed it up with an impressive win after leading every lap. Cairoli has not only the support of the Italian fans but also the added pressure, and after today’s performance he is now in the best position to win on Sunday. In the post race press conference the italian said, “If it’s possible I will try to take the win in front the home crowd tomorrow, but it’s always difficult and the most important thing for me is to be consistent.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin had another good start this season, second behind Cairoli but ahead of points leader Tim Gajser and though there was a slight cushion both in front and behind Paulin fairly consistent. In addition Paulin also had the fastest lap of the race showing that he is on par with the Trentino pace of not only Cairoli but Gajser as well.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser found himself an unfamiliar position as of late which was anything but the lead. Gajser kept Gautier within reaching distance the entire race and looked as if he was going to make a charge on the last lap to move past. In the end he settled with third and shift his focused to tomorrow’s racing. For Gajser this is one of the closest GPs to his native Slovenia, with many Slovenian fans and media making the trip he finds himself in a good position to impress tomorrow.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre showed he had the top level pace as well putting in some very fast lap times on his way to a 4th place finish. Febvre had a good start but will look to improve it for Sunday as the competitiveness of the class makes moving forward from a bad start a challenge.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl finished out the top five in qualifying Race. Nagl was one of the few riders who made his way past riders, most notably points contender Clement Desalle for the top five position.
For Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle qualifying session was likely not as productive as he would have liked after being in the top five for the early stages of the race and then being pushed out by Max Nagl. Desalle has done well here in the past though and he will use his 6th gate pick to hopefully provide another impressive result.
Championship points contender, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s, Jeremy Van Horebeek finished in the seventh spot after showing some great speed in the beginning of the race. Van Horebeek has done well at the prior 2 GPs and he will try to keep the momentum of such for Sunday.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:05.215; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:02.621; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:03.916; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:05.934; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:09.486; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:16.871; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:33.806; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:37.425; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:39.399; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:44.407.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen scored the first qualifying race win of his professional career. The 2016 EMX250 champion is showing he has what it takes to compete in the MX2 World Championship. Thomas Kjer Olsen made his way past Jorge Prado Garcia for the lead early in the race and he remained there until the checkered flag was out. In the post race press conference Thomas said, “It feels really good getting a qualifying win, its great… I felt the best I have felt all year out front being just able to focus on my lines. It’s a confidence boost.”
Red plate holder Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer qualified 2nd even after falling while trying to make a pass on Samuele Bernardini. He is already off to a better start to the weekend than his 7th qualifying position in Leon, which he later followed with a 2nd overall. Seewer looks comfortable and very fast here in Pietramurata.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado Garcia came out looking much improved from a difficult Leon. Prado lead the first few laps and finished 3rd, setting up a good chance to win his first race of the season Sunday.
The Italian native HRC MX2’s Michele Cervellin didn’t just grow up just a stones throw away from here but he impressed today with his best result on the World Championship stage, finishing 4th. Cervellin looks to keep the career best results coming for Sunday.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pauls Jonass battled in the lead group, which had some intense bar to bar action, before finally finishing in the 5th position.
Championship competitor, Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team’s, Benoit Paturel struggled on his way to a 14th place result. Getting the start his needs and has been missing lately will be difficult for Paturel with 14th gate choice against a full gate. Although the French has proved he has the skills to pass productively he will hope to keep from need to show it Sunday.
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), 23:39.305; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:04.224; 3. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:06.897; 4. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:11.179; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:14.103; 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:14.974; 7. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:18.172; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:20.375; 9. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:23.795; 10. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:24.655.